CRG Seminar: Healing in the wake of mass violence: Grassroots realities of intergenerational continuity and transformation in Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo

(Photo: Gervais Mesac Segabiro, CBS Rwanda – Prison Fellowship Rwanda)

The seminar is organised by the ASCL Collaborative Research Group 'Pioneering futures of health and well-being: actors, technologies and social engineering'. The seminar is chaired by Dr Lidewyde Berckmoes, Assistant Professor ‘Regional Conflict in Contemporary Africa’ at the ASCL. 


In this seminar we invite international panel members to reflect on their experiences rooted in the daily realities of grassroots intervention with conflict-affected communities in Rwanda and the DRC. In Rwanda, it has been more than 25 years since the genocide against the Tutsi raged. Still, for many people, and their children, it is as if the genocide happened yesterday. In the eastern DRC the population continues to be exposed to the turmoil of ongoing violence or to its immediate aftermath while facing new threats of violence. In both countries, programs of community-based sociotherapy are being implemented in communities (and in Rwanda also in refugees camps and prisons) in order to facilitate processes of individual and social healing intersected with peacebuilding from below. These programs more and more include young people as participants, including children part of the second generation.

In the panel discussion, we explore the insights gained through the implementation of these programs and the accompanying research, focusing on new findings regarding the intergenerational transmission of ‘trauma and violence’ as well as of ‘healing and peace building.’ Among others, the following themes will be presented and discussed with the audience: parent-child communication on past violence and its aftermath, (ethnic) identity questions among youth, living with parents who committed mass atrocities, the family as the smallest unit in society to be taken into account in peacebuilding programs, grassroots advocacy and peace dialogues.

The panellists are:

  • Lucie Nzaramba - Executive Director of Community Based Sociotherapy Rwanda (CBS Rwanda).
  • Emmanuel Sarabwe – Quality Assurance Manager and Project Coordinator (CBS Rwanda).
  • Angela Jansen – Program Manager (CBS Rwanda & co-founder International Institute for Community Based Sociotherapy).

Panel presentations will be followed by reflections from Senior Researcher Dr Veroni Eichelsheim (Netherlands Institute on the Study of Crime and Law Enforcement, NSCR) and Em. Prof. Annemiek Richters.

Date, time and location

06 March 2020
15.30 - 17.00
Pieter de la Court building / Faculty of Social Sciences, Wassenaarseweg 52, 2333 AK Leiden
Room 5.A41